Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Disabled Persons) Bill Debate

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Department: Department for Transport

Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Disabled Persons) Bill

Lindsay Hoyle Excerpts
3rd reading
Friday 18th March 2022

(2 years, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
Read Full debate Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Disabled Persons) Act 2022 Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Jeremy Wright Portrait Jeremy Wright
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My hon. Friend makes a good point. In addition to speaking to charities that advocate on behalf of people with disabilities, I have taken the trouble to speak to those who operate in the taxi trade. I have tried to make it clear to them that we do not seek to penalise the drivers that my hon. Friend refers to, and that my hon. Friend the Member for Clwyd South mentioned earlier, who are doing all they possibly can to facilitate the travel of people with disabilities, and to whom we owe thanks and commendation. Rather, we want to ensure that the provisions of the Bill will bite for those who are not doing so. The Bill will, frankly, make no difference whatsoever to the drivers that my hon. Friends spoke about, who already do what the Bill will require of them.

The Bill will not simply make requirements of drivers; it will also require local licensing authorities to maintain and publish a list of wheelchair-accessible vehicles to ensure consistency across the country. The Bill will prevent private hire vehicle operators from refusing or failing to take a booking from a disabled person because that person is disabled, subject only to a limited defence where there is a lack of suitable vehicles. The Bill will place reasonable duties on drivers to carry and assist disabled people without, crucially, charging extra. This Bill will change lives for the better, and I commend it to the House.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the shadow Minister, Gill Furniss.